Opportunists Sneak into Darkbeam: 3.8 Billion Usernames and Passwords Exposed

  • By Steven
  • Oct 04, 2023

Darkbeams Alarming Data Breach

Darkbeam is a top-performing cyber vulnerability and threat management provider with less than 25 employees. The company has reported over $1 million of revenue in recent years, with numbers as high as $5 million. Their recent acquisition by ApexAnalytics will hopefully increase these statistics, but numbers mean nothing if Darkbeam cannot rebuild its reputation. Darkbeam is the most recent company to suffer over 3 billion records stolen during a data breach. Those whose data previously appeared in a Darkbeam breach may have their details re-exposed. 

How Did the Attack Occur?

Investigators know many elements about the break-in, but there remain questions. In 2020, a Darkbeam researcher created a compilation of publicly available data; at some point, employees added these details to a database housing information from cyber breaches occurring between 2018 and 2019. Multiple theories suggest the leak was a product of human error. The researcher may have been using Elasticsearch and Kibana to complete their project, neglecting to protect vital information when finished. They may have forgotten to change their password after otherwise typical maintenance. The attackers may have stolen details from announced and unannounced breaches in the recent event. 

What Information was Viewed or Stolen?

More than 3.8 billion records in this breach may have consisted of login pairs. The login pairs contain an email or username and an associated password but could be unidentifiable otherwise. The exposure of such details should be concerning, as threat actors can use it to target others or break into associated accounts. According to Verizon, over 80% of data breaches involve brute-forced or stolen credentials; 3.8 billion stolen records may boost that percentage up for a time. 

How Did Darkbeam Admit to the Breach?

SecurityDiscovery’s CEO, Bob Diachenko, found the leak and immediately notified Darkbeam. September 18th, the unprotected access was located and promptly corrected. Although the leak exposed a few billion records, the threat did not penetrate into Darkbeam’s other assets or networks. 

What Will Become of the Stolen Information?

Many of the records lost in this breach were previously victimized. Darkbeam claims the data collection was to notify the account owners about possible data breaches. Now, that same information may be misused by malicious actors. Depending on the information they know, hackers can sell the data to scammers or engage in scams themselves. Access to specific usernames may increase the likelihood of connected impersonation and phishing attempts. Additionally, those with accounts having duplicate passwords are strongly encouraged to make appropriate changes. 

What Should Affected Parties Do in the Aftermath of the Breach?

Those who have reason to believe they have had information shown in this breach must take steps to protect themselves. Begin by changing known information like usernames, email addresses, and confidential data like passwords. After changing the relative details, enable two-factor authentication on all devices and accounts; this will help stop bad actors from entering your account. Be wary of phishing messages and emails, and consider notifying those around you that data was compromised.

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